Hana Richter: From Manager to Full Time Wrestler

Richter pinning her opponent during a match.

Richter pinning her opponent during a match.

By Jojo Beiza, Staff Writer

Winter sports are readily coming to an end which typically means it’s time for off-season training. That doesn’t go for all wrestlers, though. For the girl wrestlers, this means one last match: Sectionals. Out of the handful of girls on the team, junior Hana Richter plays an important role amongst the other girls.

During her freshman and sophomore year, Richter did every sport except the one she had one love for — wrestling. Participating in soccer, volleyball, cross country, and basketball, Richter has always been involved in aggressive, contact sports. Not by a surprise, wrestling caught her eye, as it is one of the most aggressive sports here at West.

“Standing outside the door and deciding to become the boys’ manager was cool,” Richter said. “Then realizing that I could do the same thing is why I decided to join the next year.”

Before joining the team, Richter chose to manage the all-boys wrestling team. Being the only girl in the wrestling gym, to now being one of six female wrestlers, Richter has made a huge impact on the program.

As intimidating as it may seem to be one of the few girls in a humid gym filled with boys, Richter did not experience this journey alone. Right by her side was her best friend and fellow wrestler, Finn Holleran.

“Wrestling with Hana has been an experience for me. Hana is a very practical teammate, so she will tell you how it is, what you need to do to improve, and what you have already been doing that has shown improvement. Next season I look forward to seeing our growth and I think that big things are in store for us next season,” Holleran said.

Wrestling has served as a confidence builder for Richter as well as. Head coach Anthony Genovesi believes that Richter is a role model for the other female wrestlers and has helped inspire more interest in the program.

“She has had a positive impact in being a leader among the females and done an amazing job competing this year,” Genovesi said. “She has even gotten her brothers to participate in our feeder program. Watching Hana get better wrestling and working very hard every day has been great. I am looking forward to Hana learning another style, freestyle, in order to compete at a national level next season.”

It’s no secret that sports and other extracurriculars help create strong, long term relationships. Junior Tariq Paul and Richter have a bond that is unbreakable. Fro, wrestling meets freshman year to wrestling with one another on the mats, their friendship has grown immensely.

“My relationship with Hana grew a lot during the season,” Paul said. “We got a lot closer than we were last year and the year before that.”

Planning on continuing and dedicating all of her free time to wrestling, Richter has no doubts in her mind that the 2019-2020 season will be nothing but a successful one. Winning first place at sectionals this past Sunday, March 3, Richter is focusing on her training to prepare herself for state.